BOSTON (SHNS) — Senate Speaker Karen Spilka said Thursday that conversations among senators are underway about possible ways to provide tax relief to residents in the face of rising gasoline prices and the inflation, but she did not release any details a day after the House pushed back on a push from Republicans to suspend the state gas tax.
“I’m talking with members to find out where they are with alternatives and relief ideas,” Spilka told reporters after the Senate convened on Thursday to pass legislation to improve oversight of long-term care facilities. term for veterans. Spilka said rising gas prices underscore the need to incentivize people to use public transport and buy electric vehicles. “You’ve heard me talking about doing a climate bill, probably in April, which we’re going to and have planned to consider carefully to provide relief and options in this area,” Spilka said.
Asked about President Ron Mariano’s characterization of a gas tax cut as a “political stunt,” Spilka was less blunt, but said she’d like to see the federal government investigate whether it it is actually a shortage of supply or an increase in prices that led to the price spike. “I can understand people’s pain in their wallets when they go for gas and feel it much more intensely than they felt before,” Spilka said, adding, “I think we need to at least look at ways and alternatives to help residents, especially low- and middle-income residents.
Mariano said he had talks with Revenue Committee Chairman Mark Cusack about conditioning a state property tax reform with “something else that would benefit renters” a months before Baker included similar ideas in his $700 million tax cut proposal. “I wouldn’t say a broader bill yet, because it’s a big step forward. I mean, if we can get a few things that would be great, but we’re looking at some things,” Mariano said.
The Baker administration viewed these recent comments from Democratic leaders as encouraging signs. “Hearing President Mariano express such strong support for similar tax relief measures is another hugely positive sign that the Governor’s tax cuts could become a reality for Massachusetts families,” spokesman Terry said. MacCormack.